Is it Lady Chaos or Lord Chaos

  • I want to know whether the Greek creator of the universe is a woman or man. I looked at many resources and each said one or the other.

    Thanks in advance.

    Please explain (in your question) why you think Chaos should be gendered at all. As per Wikipedia), "chaos"" is a _neuter_ noun.

    @Spencer I'm writing a book which includes chaos.

    @Spencer - Gods of the Greek pantheon are almost always gendered. I think it's probably reasonable to assume any given Greek deity will be gendered. Chaos certainly may not be, but that would make it the exception.

    Great question! Welcome to Mythology.

    My personal opinion would be that Chaos is a liminal deity that forms a bridge between nothingness and all things that exist. (Sort of a "primordial soup" order arises out of.) Despite the Aristophanes, the case is very strong for an hermaphroditic or neutral figure. (Don't forget that Loki gave birth to Sleipnir, Zeus carried Dionysus to term in his own body, and Tiresias was changed from man to woman and back again. Sexual and gender fluidity are indisputably a part of Greek mythology. (See also Pentheus and transvestism.)

  • bleh

    bleh Correct answer

    5 years ago

    Theoi's thing, the summary, says that it's a goddess

    KHAOS (Chaos) was the first of the primordial gods (protogenoi) to emerge at the dawn of creation. She was followed in quick succession by Gaia (Gaea, Earth), Tartaros (the Pit Below) and Eros (Procreation).

    Khaos was the lower atmosphere which surrounds the earth--both the invisible air and the gloom of fog and mist. The word khaos means "gap" or "chasm" being the space between heaven and earth. Khaos was the mother and grandmother of the other misty essences--Erebos (the mists of netherworld darkness), Aither (the ethereal mists of heaven), Nyx (the night) and Hemera (the day), as well as the numerous emotion-driving Daimones (Spirits) which haunted it. She was also a goddess of fate like her daughter Nyx and grand-daughters the Moirai (Moirae).

    As the goddess of the air Khaos was also the mother of birds, just as Gaia (the Earth) was the mother of land animals, and Thalassa (the Sea) was the mother of fish.

    A primary source:

    Aristophanes, Birds 685 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) :
    "At the beginning there was only Khaos (Chaos, the Chasm) [Air], Nyx (Night), dark Erebos (Darkness), and deep Tartaros (the Pit). Ge (Gaea, Earth), Aer (Air) [Aither] and Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven) had no existence. Firstly, black-winged Nyx (Night) laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Erebos (Darkness), and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Eros (Desire) with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated [or fertilised] in deep Tartaros (the Pit) with dark Khaos (Chaos, the Chasm) [Air], winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race [the birds], which was the first to see the light."

    Being able to be fertilized generally means you're a girl. Or something's wrong.

    Are you sure the gendered pronouns in your quotes exist in the original texts?

    You can take a look at the original Hurrian myth of that part, the cycle of Kumarbi which is devoided of any female element, except Kumarbi "himself" which will be the mother of Teshub [Zeus]. Lots of time Kumarbi in Hurrian is called "she".

    The bolded "his" in the Seneca refers to Hercules, not chaos, which is not capitalized in the Latin text per the Rudolf Peiper, Gustav Richter, Ed.

    In Aristophanes' Birds (which is interpreting Hesiod's Theogony), Chaos is impregnated by Eros. With some notable exceptions See David Leitao's [book on the subject], the goddesses gave birth. That said, chaos was very often thought of as a genderless substance.

    @DukeZhou whoops, read it wrong. agh

    @bleh Re "being fertilized": doesn't mean the individual in question was *born* female. Tiresias was genderswapped twice (MtoF and back again). Loki changed from male to female, got pregnant *by a horse,* bore the foal, and then changed back to male. So Chaos might be both genders, or change at will.

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